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On July 21, 2017, we issued a notice of Expression on Concern1 about the article “Dexamethasone for the Prevention of Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Palsy and Other Complications After Thyroid Surgery: A Randomized Double-blind Placebo-Controlled Trial” that was published in JAMA Otolaryngology−Head & Neck Surgery in May 2013.2
In April 2017, we had received an allegation that the data included in this article were also included in similar articles published in other journals. The editor of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons had retracted one of these articles3 after an independent statistical analysis determined that “the statistical results are incorrect and the data do not support the conclusions of the article.”4 As previously reported, we had compared the article published in JAMA Otolaryngology−Head & Neck Surgery in 2013 with the retracted article published in Journal of the American College of Surgeons in 2015. The 2 articles report randomized placebo-controlled trials on interventions to prevent recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy after thyroid surgery. There is substantial overlap in the Methods, Results, and Discussion sections of these articles.1
Following our evaluation, we concluded that the scientific and ethical concerns raised had merit and required definitive explanation, and we issued the notice of Expression of Concern to alert readers. We contacted the University of L’Aquila and requested a formal investigation to evaluate the integrity of the research conducted by Dr Schietroma and colleagues to assess the validity of the reported findings. The university appointed an independent committee to investigate and requested the original data set and original approval of the protocol experiment by the ethical committee. Neither have been provided by Dr Schietroma, and the university has informed us that “without those pieces of information the results of the papers under investigation cannot be validated.”
As a result, we now issue this notice of Retraction and the original article2 is hereby retracted.
Corresponding Author: Jay F. Piccirillo, MD, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, 660 S Euclid Ave, Campus Box 8115, St Louis, MO 63110 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: October 11, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.3018
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Piccirillo JF, Bauchner H. Notice of Retraction: Schietroma M, Cecilia EM, Carlei F, Sista F, De Santis G, Lancione L, Amicucci G. Dexamethasone for the Prevention of Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Palsy and Other Complications After Thyroid Surgery: A Randomized Double-blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013;139(5):471-478. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;144(12):1089. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.3018
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